Employee benefits extended in response to COVID-19

Family Leave Act extended to help parents impacted by school closures

The Bureau of Labor and Industries responded to the COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday by taking emergency action to extend the Oregon Family Leave Act.

New rules include protection for parents missing work due to school closures caused by a public health risk. The OFLA previously only covered time off to care for an ill or injured child.

OFLA time is protected but is not paid, and is available to Oregonians who work for an employer with at least 25 employees. Read the new rule here.

“No parent should lose their job because of this statewide school closure. This rule provides clarity to workers and employers during this uncertain period.”

-Val Hoyle
Oregon Labor Commissioner

Congress also passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which requires employers to provide 10 days of paid sick leave for full-time workers who become sick with the virus and offer up to three months of paid family and medical leave for people forced to stay home due to the virus.

This was part of $100 billion coronovirus aid package signed Wednesday by President Donald Trump. It also funds food programs like WIC, SNAP and Emergency Food Assistance.

Unemployment benefits extended

The number of unemployment claims in Oregon jumped from 800 on Sunday to 18,500 on Tuesday following a statewide order to close schools, events, restaurants and bars. In response, the Oregon Employment Department enacted temporary rules to provide unemployment benefits to COVID-19 affected workers.

Unemployment Insurance benefits are now available during temporary layoffs in cases where an employer stops operation for a short period, including due to government regulation. Workers are eligible for unemployment benefits and do not need to seek work if their place of employment intends to resume operation.

Employers must still be able to work, stay in contact with their employer, and be ready to return to the job when called back. (Full resource guide and information on how to file an online claim is here).

Below is a guide to scenarios and benefits available during the coronavirus shutdown. More resources, including an in-depth FAQ, is available on the Oregon Employment Department website here.